I’ve sort of gone into Wardrobe Architect under the impression that it would take me a solid chunk of the year to make all the pieces I wanted, but I am positively plowing through these babies! It might help that I have to look at my sad excuse for a closet every day… “I can wear this as soon as it’s finished!” is a great motivator to Do The Thing.
(Note from the editor: I’m sorry I’ve been a slowpoke blogger lately! I’ve not been motivated at ALL to take blog photos, but the backlog of Unblogged Items is growing too quickly!)
This skirt manages to be both Wardrobe Architect and Christmas Impulse Fabric Purchase. It’s a skirt from my plan (midi length, with added front button detail and box pleats), but I’d originally intended to make it in a solid color.
When the print presented itself at the Draper’s Fabrics boxing day sale, it practically screamed to be made into that skirt. I justified the impulse buy because all but one of the colors in the print are on my capsule list (that grey-green is SO GOOD though…honorary member?), and also it was 40% off. I figured I could squeeze the skirt out of a meter of fabric, and I was right… if only barely.
I don’t go to Draper’s a lot because parking isn’t free and I always end up leaving with half the store, but if you’re ever in Newmarket/Auckland/New Zealand, it’s a great place to visit. It’s one of the smallest fabric stores I’ve encountered, but it’s extremely well curated especially if you lean towards natural fibers. It happens to be my go-to shop for denim as well.
This particular gem is a 20% silk, 80% viscose blend with a twill weave, and a body that can only be described as ‘cloudlike’. It drapes beautifully, but it’s also so incredibly light that when I walk it does a ‘float’ rather than a ‘swish’. It doesn’t stop moving when I do, either. Even if I stand still, it ebbs and flows like gentle waves and catches every hint of a breeze. Basically, it’s amazing. Silk has a heavier swish (technical term) on its own, so I’d imagine the viscose plays a large role in its behavior. The gathered lining also adds quite a bit of floof to the skirt, which is a more severe silhouette on me than I’ve been wearing lately but I think I like it.
The fabric is semi-sheer, so it’s lined with some cotton gauze I also snagged from Draper’s. Although the tag says ‘machine washable’ these two didn’t play nice in their (cold, delicate, no-spin, hang dry) pre-wash, and I ended up with some blue staining in random places. I got clever with the body of the skirt so that the blue wouldn’t be too obvious, and the lining stain isn’t visible with wear so I’m not at all beat up about it. All things being equal if it was going to stain, I’m glad it happened in the pre-wash instead of in a load of laundry when I trusted it with other things. I’ll be hand washing it from now on all the same.
The skirt itself is a high waisted box pleated affair with a functional button-down front. I hesitate to say it’s self drafted because the only ‘drafting’ I did was the math involved to figure out how much length I needed for the pleats (waist measurement x 3 for those of you following along) plus measuring the desired-length-of-skirt (waist to knee: 20″). I made pockets but they’re of the traced-around-a-hand variety, and the waistband is a rectangle cut to the length of the waist of the skirt, and then darted at the center back and sides to fit my waist – I also eyeballed that.
Next time I’ll lower the pockets – I didn’t think about how high this thing was going to sit up on my waist until it was done, and although I don’t see myself walking around with my hands in these pockets, they are a bit high up for my taste.
Construction-wise, the lining is gathered, sewn in at the top, and caught in the folded-over facings that make up the button band (after hemming, of course). The pockets are hidden under the box pleats in the side seam, the waistband facing and pockets are a mushroom-cream colored rayon I used for the lining of my jumpsuit a while back. The waistband and its facing are interfaced, the button side of the front band is interfaced once, and the buttonhole side is interfaced in two layers for extra buttonhole stability. I added two buttons to the waistband and spaced the rest closer together than I normally would have down the front, really only because I had 11 buttons and it seemed silly to have leftovers.
Speaking of buttons, these were salvaged from an old RTW shirt which met a fateful torn and sweat-stained end recently, and is currently in the rag bin reserved for de-spider-webbing our high ceilings. I’ve got one button left which I’ve stitched to the seam in one of the pockets in case I ever lose one.
I’ve worn this a few times, so I can tell you how it fares in the world. Overall I’d qualify it a success, but I’d also give myself another 3/4″ or so of breathing room in the waistband in the next version. It’s fine when I’m standing but as soon as I sit the mass shifts a bit, apparently.
It’s also one of the only printed ‘bottoms’ I have at the moment (actually, prints are a distinct minority in my closet) and also one of the only light colored bottoms as well, which I hadn’t really noticed until I dumped everything off our closet-shelves and reorganized this weekend. Lotta dark neutrals in there, friends. I think I need to pull a Jasika and make some hot pink raw silk pegged trousers next…